As per the latest news reports at 12.50 PM, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has reviewed all the efforts taken to tackle the rain havoc in Kerala and expressed satisfaction with regard to the flood relief efforts undertaken by the Army, Navy and the Air Force, NDRF as well as the Coast Guards. According to the latest tweet from the CM’s office, “As the the water level in Idukki dam continues to rise, more water will have to be released. It has been estimated that at least three times the volume that is being released now will have to be spillled. This will raise the water level in Periyar river and its subsidiaries.” Considering the situation, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has instructed to alert those people living in downstream areas with the help of announcements and pressed for relocating people living in vulnerable areas.
The death toll in Kerala has touched 26. Meanwhile, the IMD has predicted more rains across eight districts in Kerala in the next 48 hours and the situation looks grim at the ground level. Kerala rains are lashing down across the state like never before, leaving people in a state of utter helplessness and panic in areas that have been most affected. The latest update has come from the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office, which has issued a tweet, announcing that a ban has been imposed on the movement of heavy goods vehicles and tourist vehicles in the high ranges of Idukki on account of the unabated rains in the area. There are also local news reports that drinking water supply was also hit in many places around Malappuram, Palakkad and Ernakulam districts. Today, the US government has also issued a travel advisory asking its citizens to refrain from visiting Kerala at this time.
As the water-level in Idukki dam continues to rise, more water will have to be released. It has been estimated that at least 3 times the volume that is being released now will have to be spilled. This will raise the water-level in Periyar river and its subsidiaries.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 10, 2018
Considering the situation, CM has instructed to alert the people living in downstream areas with the help of announcements. He has also instructed to relocate people living in vulnerable areas.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 10, 2018
What happened on Thursday across districts?
On Thursday, the decision to open one of the shutters of the Idukki dam on Thursday on a trial basis for hours led to a sense of foreboding and panic among the public. Following this, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cautioned people not to panic and he stated that it is a ‘unprecedented situation’ whereby 22 dams had to be opened at one go and in the case of Idukki, dam, it was reopened after 26 years as per local news reports. Trial runs continued throughout the night. Past midnight, the water level mark at Idukki dam had touched 2400.38 ft. This morning, the water level had touched 2401 ft at 7 AM.
District Collectors were given permission to hire the necessary number of bulldozers, generators and lights. They were directed to provide essential supplies such as water, food, clothes and toilet facilities to the people in affected areas and those staying in relief camps. The service of doctors has been ensured in these camps.
District collectors were given permissions to hire necessary number of bulldozers, generators & lights. They were instructed to provide food, water, clothes and toilet facilities for the people staying in relief camps. The service of doctors has been ensured in the camps.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 9, 2018
Worst hit districts in Kerala?
The worst-hit districts have been Malappuram, Idduki, Wayanad, Kannur and Palakkad. People living near the banks of the Periyar river and other low-lying areas in Ernakulam were asked to stay alert since the time the red alerts have been issued. Already, 57 reliefs camps are functional in Ernakulam, with 1076 families staying there. There is considerable worry about the catchment areas around the Boothanthankettu dam, where the water levels are reportedly increasing and if more shutters of the Idukki dam are opened again, the water levels are bound to rise further.
When the dams were opened on Thursday, the areas around Palakkad and Aluva faced the onslaught of rising water levels. Wayanad and Idukki were badly hit, so was the Nilambur region. Landslides in five locations around Idukki district led to the death of at least 11 people on Thursday, including an entire family of five members and one person went missing. According to local news reports, the situation in Nilambur was grim.
Meanwhile, in Kozhikode district, close to a place called Thamarassery, a river had changed its course, causing the death of one person and destruction of at least twenty houses. On Wednesday night, however, the body of a youth was found three kilometers from the river and it was recovered on Thursday along with a vehicle. Another tragedy has been reported in Ernakulam district, where two Class 12 students died. However, the Cochin International airport had commenced with flight arrivals after a few hours of diverting flights from landing on Thursday afternoon.
In a place called Srikanthapuram in Kannur district, nearly 150 shops faced the onslaught of flash floods on Thursdays and sank in water.
Known for picturesque monsoons in June that entice domestic and international travelers to visit ‘God’s own country’, this year the state has faced rain fury like never before, leading to considerable destruction of property, loss of lives, flash floods and landslides across districts.